In late June 2018 we were invited to join a run in aid of the Stars Appeal.

Driving events for Charity are a great way of getting out and about in our classics and contributing to a good cause. There is the added benefit of meeting new fellow enthusiasts, and their cars.

The Stars Appeal is Salisbury District Hospital’s charity (no.1052284). It raises money to create the best possible experience for patients and their families by funding extra care and equipment over and above that provided by the NHS. We work hard to help local people across all wards and departments, with particular focus on cancer, cardiac care and children.

One of the current goals is raising funds to provide a second MRI scanner at Salisbury District Hospital. MRI scanning is an invaluable way of seeing health problems before serious symptoms appear, reducing the need for expensive, invasive procedures.

The existing scanner is extremely busy, and a second unit would benefit up to 10000 patients per year, helping to diagnose a wide range of common health issues. Whereas the existing unit currently copes with emergency and diagnostic work, a second one would be catching problems earlier, saving lives, enabling quicker treatment and getting patients home faster, reducing the strain on beds.

Earl Pembroke is President of the charity, so the start point for the run was Wilton House, and in the early morning on what was to become a blisteringly hot day the participants assembled.

Classic car story

Classic cars at Wilton House

Over breakfast in the Palladian Restaurant the Earl made an address outlining the purpose of the day, going into passionate detail over the Stars Appeal goals, and the importance to Salisbury District Hospital and their patients.

Stars appeal

Then we were briefed on the route the run was to take by Sarah Dowding, who owns and runs Classic Travelling, organising amazing road tours across the globe. Recently returned from shepherding a flock of Bentley Owners Club members to and from the Monaco Historique event, with a Pyrenees to Monaco tour, followed by an Apres Monaco trip back to the UK.

Needless to say, the drive was a joy, and after a lunch stop at The Jack Russell at Linkenholt, the tour finished up at Longford Castle, a hidden gem south of Salisbury.

Classic car story

Classic cars at Longford Castle

A great day out, but more importantly, money raised for a very important cause – the Stars Appeal